Salted Chocolate Cronut Recipe

Of all of the food portmanteaus — brookies, totchos, turducken, and their ilk — one of our favorites is the cronut, because how delicious are the two iconic foods whose names are mashed up here? As recipe developer Tanika Douglas tells us about her salted chocolate cronuts, "I absolutely adore this recipe because it's the perfect cross between two of my favorite things: donuts and croissants." There are also multiple flavors at play here, including a slightly salty chocolate ganache filling and a cinnamon sugar-sprinkled exterior amid the buttery layers of pastry.

Douglas acknowledges that this cronut recipe takes quite a bit of time, and "a layered pastry dough like this can be intimidating." Still, she calls the process a relativity straightforward one and assures us that "the end result is incredibly worthwhile." Her best advice? Read through the entire recipe before plunging right in, and once you unveil your accomplishment, you'll be pleased with the results and proud of yourself for putting this particular notch in your dessert belt.

Assemble the ingredients for the salted chocolate cronuts

Though this recipe requires a fair number of ingredients, none of them should be too hard to source. The chocolate ganache is made with heavy cream, dark chocolate, and salt, while the cronut dough is made with milk, yeast, fine sugar (also known as caster sugar, a type of finely ground sugar you can make by whizzing up regular sugar in the food processor), vanilla, an egg white, melted butter, and flour. You're also going to need more softened butter as you shape the cronuts, oil for frying, and cinnamon and granulated sugar to sprinkle on top.

Prepare the ganache filling

To make the chocolate ganache, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Break up 7 ounces of the chocolate, then pour the cream over the bits and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Let the mixture sit for a minute or so to soften up the chocolate, then stir it up until it's nice and smooth. You have now achieved ganache! It needs to solidify a bit before it's firm enough to stuff the cronuts, though, so stick it in the fridge for an hour.

Make the cronut dough

Now it's time to put your stand mixer to work. You'll start the cronut dough by warming the water and milk, then adding the yeast and 1 teaspoon of fine sugar. After about 5 minutes, it should be foamy, so add the bowl to your stand mixer and whiz up the vanilla, egg white, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and the rest of the fine sugar and salt. Stir in the flour, then knead the mixture with the hook attachment until it looks dough-like. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it 3 times on a floured surface, then put it into a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate it.

After 20 minutes, roll out the chilled dough into a ¼-inch thick rectangle, then spread half of the softened butter over the middle third. Take one of the unbuttered sides and fold it over the butter, then spread the rest of the butter over this section, and fold the remaining unbuttered piece over the top. Cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator for an hour. Repeat the rolling and folding process (but not the buttering), then refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Do these steps twice more so you've rolled, folded, and refrigerated 4 times in all. 

Allowing the butter to chill several times, while labor-intensive, is what creates those distinctive croissant-like layers. "I would recommend making these cronuts on the weekend, when you have time to relax and enjoy the process," Douglas says.

Shape the cronuts

Roll the cronut dough out until it's ¾-inch thick, then cut it out into rounds using a cookie cutter or another round object. You'll then need to make the round holes in the middle (the "onut" part) using a smaller cutter. Once you've cut the cronuts, place them on a parchment-lined sheet tray, cover them with a towel, and let them rise, unrefrigerated, for about an hour. After this time, they should be almost double in size.

You may now heat up a pot half-filled with cooking oil until it reaches a temperature of 350 F. Add a few cronuts to the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them, and fry them for 2 minutes on each side. As each batch finishes, let it drain on paper towels.

Fill and finish the cronuts

Stir the cinnamon into the granulated sugar, then toss the still-warm cronuts with the mixture, making sure to coat each one as much as possible. Now take the ganache out of the refrigerator and stuff it into a piping bag or a plastic bag with one of the corners cut off. Squirt some ganache into each quarter of a cronut to fill it, then repeat with the remaining cronuts.

As a final touch, melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave in 15-second bursts. Stir it until it is smooth, then drizzle it over the cronuts. They are now ready to eat! Douglas does say these treats are best enjoyed on the same day they are made, but if you can't manage to serve all 16 at once, you can keep them in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container or for a few weeks in the freezer. If you opt for the latter storage method, Douglas recommends that you thaw the cronuts before warming them up in the oven.

Salted Chocolate Cronut Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
What tastes even better than a freshly fried cronut? A freshly fried cronut you made yourself, filled with chocolate ganache, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar!
Prep Time
Cook Time
cronut drizzled with chocolate
Total time: 6 hours, 45 minutes
  • 7 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ¾ ounces dark chocolate, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons fine sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 9 ounces butter, softened, plus 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 1 ½ pounds flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. To make the chocolate ganache, heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to simmer.
  2. Break 7 ounces of chocolate into pieces and pour the cream over the chocolate, adding ½ teaspoon salt. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute until the chocolate softens, then stir everything together until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. To make the cronut dough, heat the water and milk until just warm, but don't allow the liquid to boil.
  4. Combine the warm milk mixture with the yeast and 1 teaspoon of fine sugar, then let this rest for about 5 minutes until it becomes foamy.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast mixture with the vanilla, egg white, melted butter, and the remaining fine sugar and salt.
  6. Add the flour to the mixture and knead it using the hook attachment of the stand mixer until it forms a soft dough.
  7. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead it 3 times on a floured surface.
  8. Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a ¼-inch thick rectangle.
  10. Spread half of the softened butter over the middle third of the dough, then fold over one of the outside thirds and spread the other half of the butter on top. Fold the last third of the dough over the top, then cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  11. Roll the dough out into a ¼-inch rectangle and repeat the process of folding it into thirds (without buttering it). Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  12. Repeat the process of chilling, rolling, and folding the dough 2 more times.
  13. Roll out the dough to a ¾-inch thickness.
  14. Cut out the cronuts into rounds using a cookie cutter or glass, then cut out a smaller round hole in the center of each. Place the cronuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let them rise for 1 hour or until they are almost double in size.
  15. To fry the cronuts, heat a pot full of oil to about 350 F.
  16. Fry the cronuts for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown, working in batches. Drain the fried cronuts on paper towels until slightly cooled.
  17. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon and toss the warm donuts in this mixture until they are completely coated.
  18. Use a piping bag, fill the cronuts with the chocolate ganache by piping filling into each quarter of each cronut.
  19. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cronuts.
Calories per Serving 431
Total Fat 23.5 g
Saturated Fat 13.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 42.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 11.4 g
Sodium 126.7 mg
Protein 7.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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